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During my first two years as a nurse, I worked all three. My schedule was all over the place. I got a taste of days, evenings and nights. Went a long time doing only days, then a 3 month period of nights only. Always had evenings peppered in somewhere.
For me, personally, the preferred shift would be days. Not because of anything work related, but because of me.
I find it easier to create a home life for myself on that shift. I have more routine to my out of work schedule when I work days. My sleep schedule is more organized and I found it easier to plan things.
On nights, my sleep schedule was just plain out of whack. I'd sleep twice as long just to feel rested. If I only had one day off between shifts, I didnt feel like I had been off at all. I'd wake up late in the evening, try to get things done, and then want to sleep again cause I was feeling like my next shift was right around the corner.
I like evenings too, for a lot of the same reasons as day. When I work evenings, I go right to bed as soon as I get home. Then I wake up early and get a few things done before work. If I'm off that night, I have plenty of time to enjoy myself.
I dont know, being on nights, I felt like all I could do was manage to go to work and rest at home. I'm just not the night shift type.
3p-3a. So far I love it. Seems like a weird shift but allows me time to run some errands and actually do stuff before work. Plus, our ER usually (but not always) calms down a bit around 0100 so I don't usually walk out wired.
I perfer to work nights. I currently work 7p-7a. One poster mentioned 3p-3a, I liked that shift too, but it isn't offered too much around here. I really liked working that shift. So I have to say a afternoon/night schedule is best for me. I just don't like day shift.
I prefer to work nights so that I won't be bothered by rounding doctors, rude visitors, abusive family members, managers, social workers, PT, OT, and others. In addition, it would need to be 12-hour night shifts for me.